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This workstream will make recommendations for a sustainable business plan for the DPLA. It is clear that any effort to greatly increase the scope of public access to digital resources will require partnerships among many entities, public and private, including government institutions, foundations, libraries (public, academic, and special-purpose) and (probably) publishers, both for-profit and nonprofit. The set of business models and mechanisms required to support a successful effort is likely to be complicated and varied, reflecting substantial differences in the primary missions of the participating institutions. How much the effort costs will depend on both technical and organizational considerations, and the financial/business models track will have to consider these aspects simultaneously.
- Meetings and notes
- DPLA West, San Francisco, CA: April 27, 2012
- Workshop held in Ann Arbor, MI on March 13, 2012: Executive Summary, Meeting Notes, Appendix A: Questions, Appendix B: Strategic Matrix
Big issues: We need to ensure that there is a sustainable model for the DPLA. Philanthropy will be a good starting point, but the effort must have a business model and a means of drawing on core funding from libraries and governments in order to get to scale. Working with publishers is also a necessity as part of this project.
Paul Courant, Harold T. Shapiro Professor of Public Policy and Dean of Libraries at the University of Michigan
Kevin Guthrie, President at ITHAKA
Christine Borgman, UCLA
Peter Brantley, Internet Archive
Laura DeBonis, formerly of Google Books
Martín Gómez, Los Angeles Public Library
Theresa Horner, Barnes & Noble
Mark Kurtz, BioOne
Brian Moura, Assistant City Manager, San Carlos, CA
Frances Pinter, Churchill Archive Online
Tom Sanville, Lyrasis
Roberta Shaffer & Blane Dessy, Library of Congress
Explore and develop mechanisms to generate ongoing material support for the DPLA as an organization, as well for the many activities that will be parts of the DPLA. Provide help and support to other workstreams of the DPLA in their development of business models for activities that they identify as part of the DPLA’s work.
Questions for Discussion
Special thanks to Paul Courant for developing an initial list of discussion questions.
- To what extent do we envisage parts of the collection as being delivered by federated means, where different repositories and libraries would be responsible for different parts, and to what extent by centralized means? This will have significant implications for business models.
- What are the requirements of print backup (if any) for parts of the collection, and who should be responsible for delivering those requirements?
- How should the planning group deal with the interaction between elements of intellectual property law and the feasibility of different business models? What are the estimated costs and benefits of changes in the law?
- What would it cost, independent of who pays, to digitize how much of what parts of the eventual collection, and what would it cost to deliver that content robustly for the indefinite future?
- What audience/reader-friendly approaches to supplying non-professional reading (and reading advice) could be used to win publishers over to a more open approach to supplying the DLPA/any public library with the full range of the content they control.
- Could there be a financing model that could coordinate smaller donations? What if there's a book I want access to that isn't part of the library, could I could nominate and fund it's digitization for a $50 donation? What if libraries took the $40 per item spent in retrieving/shipping/receiving Interlibrary Loan items and put it towards digitizing the item? What if individual authors/copyright owners had the option to digitize their works and release their copyright? What if individual scholarly societies and organizations could fund or cost-share the digitization of their published works?
- Should the Digital Public Library of America initiative drop "Public" from its name--to reduce the risks of its preempting the establishment of a universal national digital library system with public governance and with funding, content and services from both the public and and private sectors? More details here. Submitted by David Rothman, co-founder of LibraryCity and a Berkman workshop participant.
- What about indirect cost-justification, such as encouragement of the use of tablets that could be used not just with books and other content but also for paperwork reduction in areas ranging from tax forms to healthcare paperwork? In connection with the "Drop Public from name?" question, might this be one argument for the current initiative working with a national digital public library system but not actually being the public system? Cost-justification would be easier with the library system being a government organization able to work closely with public bureaucracies and encourage them to make suitable IT changes. For more on cost-justification, please see A national information stimulus plan: How iPad-style tablets could help educate millions and trim bureaucracy--not just be techno toys for the D.C. elite on the Atlantic site.
- IMLS Public Libraries Survey Fiscal Year 2009
- Ithaka :: Case Studies in Sustainability 2011 -- "In 2009 Ithaka S+R investigated the sustainability strategies of twelve digital content projects in the higher education and cultural heritage sectors in the US, UK, France, Germany, and Egypt. Two years and one economic crisis later, Ithaka S+R, with the generous support of the JISC-led Strategic Content Alliance, decided to revisit the original twelve case studies to see how their models had held up, where weaknesses might be starting to show, and what new strategies project leaders were adopting in response."
- Eric Hellman, How to fund a public ebook library with tax deductions, TeleRead, February 1, 2011
All workstream members should join the DPLA Financial/Business Models Workstream listserv at https://cyber.law.harvard.edu/lists/subscribe/dpla-finance.
Please also add your name to the list below. If you would like to edit this wiki, please create an account.
- [Name], [email address]
- David Rothman (LibraryCity.org), firstname.lastname@example.org